Favored by 24½ points, a mostly uninspired Washington State weathered tougher-than-expected Wyoming and defeated the Cowboys of the Mountain West Conference 31-14 Saturday night at Martin Stadium in Pullman (box). After a spectacular face plant against FCS Portland State in the season opener, the Cougars (2-1) have won two in a row as they enter a bye week.
Trailing 21-14 late in the third after snuffing a WSU fourth-down play, Wyoming had a chance to tie the when it assumed possession inside the Cougars’ 40. But a pair of false starts plus a huge sack took the Cowboys out of scoring position. They never came close again. A 22-yard field goal by WSU’s Erik Powell and QB Luke Falk’s late TD to Dom Williams iced it.
Falk, who had a 478-yard game against Rutgers last week, completed 37 of 45 for 303 yards and touchdowns of 35 and 4 yards to Williams. Falk also ran one yard for a touchdown and threw an interception.
The play of the game from Washington State’s perspective came at 13:02 of the second quarter when Falk looped a throw into the end zone that Williams caught one-handed over his shoulder for the 35-yard TD that tied the game 14-14. Williams has 21 TDs in his WSU career and finished with two catches for 39 yards.
River Cracraft led WSU receivers with seven catches for 83 yards.
Keith Harrington’s 35-yard TD run at 5:17 of the second quarter was the longest rushing score of the season for the Cougars. Harrington finished with 68 yards.
The Cougars, who recorded 14 tackles for loss and forced two turnovers, allowed 403 yards, including 290 and a pair of touchdown passes by Wyoming quarterback Cameron Coffman.
Peyton Pelleur led the Washington State defense with 14 solo tackles, including 3.5 for loss. Jeremiah Allison made the late interception on Coffman that set up Falk’s second touchdown to Williams late in the fourth quarter.
The Cougars won back-to-back games for the first time since knocking off Arizona and Utah at the end of the 2013 season . . . The Cougars, who had only eight takeaways last season, already have five . . . WSU, which had not met Wyoming since 1990, improved to 4-2 in the all-time series and to 7-4 against schools (current membership) from the Mountain West.
The Cougars have a bye next week before opening Pac-12 play Oct. 3 at the University of California.